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When king of the world touched one fan's life.

A BOXING fan who attended Muhammad Ali's 70th birthday party has written a book about the sportsman's visit to Newcastle.

Russ Routledge, 54, from Newcastle's West End, was invited to the Ali Centre in Louisville, Kentucky, USA, to celebrate with the champion boxer on his milestone birthday.

Russ has now penned a book about Ali's visit to Newcastle 35 years ago, during the Queen's Silver Jubilee.

The former Home Office worker is hoping to have it published in time for the Queen's Diamond Jubilee this year.

The book, entitled When the King of the World Touched our Lives, tells the story of why Ali came to Newcastle and how Russ ended up in Ali's Hollywood mansion. Russ said: "It's something I have always wanted to do but I never had the time.

"The story is just an example of what he is like.

"He has always taken time out for the everyday person, that's why they called him the people's champion.

"A lot of the younger generation don't even know Ali came to Newcastle and many have just seen him on TV. This story shows others what he's like outside the ring and not just what they see on TV."

Russ first met Ali at the Grainger Park Club in Newcastle, where he was an amateur boxer. Over the years, Russ has met up with Ali on several occasions, including in 1984 when he spent time at his Hollywood mansion.
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Publication:The Journal (Newcastle, England)
Date:Mar 19, 2012
Words:240
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